As October 3, 2008 tiptoes in, I am breaking my blog silence to start blogging in the true sense of regular daily real life experiences.
The reason is the treatment meted out to the Sikh cause in France by respected Professor turned Politician Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India while he was visiting that country.
Standing right next to President Nicolas Sarkozy, Indian PM Singh was face to face with me when I asked the French President the question about the "ban on Sikhs wearing turbans."
Sardar Singh did not blink even an eye-lid, leave alone asking the French President in front of world cameras to support my question as the French leader was lambasting Indians about Christian killings in India.
One thing that Sarkozy did not know then is that I am a Christian (although my surname comes from my Sikh paternal lineage) and I, like other secular citizens of the world, understand the meaning of secular.
And then I see Indian newspapers, especially one in Punjab, The Tribune running the report (appended below as it appeared on the newspaper's website) and it made me wonder "was it the same face that showed no emotion," in Marseille and the question, "How did the respected journalist see 'Pain was writ large on the face of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as he explained...' as the journalist was not present at the episode where the PM was talking to the President?"
One explanation that comes to mind is related to the Professor becoming a seasoned Politician as I have always believed Politics is made of two words: (made indoors) Policy and (then applied in public with) Tricks.
I will leave it to you readers to comment on what happened in Marseille, France where the question was asked in front of world cameras and what transpired in Paris. France where no journalist was present behind the closed doors.
APPENDED REPORT FROM THE TRIBUNE:
When PM expressed anguish on turban ban
On board PM's special aircraft
Pain was writ large on the face of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as he explained to French President Nicolas Sarkozy the anguish of the Sikh community over the ban on wearing turban in schools in France.
''I said to him (Sarkozy) that the turban is an essential part of the Sikh way of life because the Sikhs are not allowed to cut their hair. And this is one way to keep their hair tidy,” he disclosed to reporters who accompanied him on his 10-day trip to the US and France.
Singh met Sarkozy in Paris yesterday. He told the French leader that Sikhs were facing problems in France. ''When Sikh children go to school, they are discouraged from wearing turbans. And when seeking identity cards, they are asked to remove their turbans.”
The Prime Minister recalled that he had raised the turban issue with Sarkozy during the latter's visit to New Delhi in January also. (http://www.tribuneindia.com/2008/20081002/main2.htm)